Summer Safety: ATV

All terrain vehicle or ATV riding is a popular pastime that can be very dangerous. Regional Medical Center at Memphis and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges ATV riders to stay safe and make 2012 the year that curbs the annual rise in deaths and injuries seen every summer. 

Many deaths and injuries occur when an inexperienced driver loses control of an ATV, is thrown from an ATV, overturns the vehicle, or collides with a fixed object or a motor vehicle. ATV drivers with more than one year of experience have a much lower risk of injury than relatively new drivers.

Training can bridge that gap by showing new drivers how to handle multiple off-road riding situations. Retailers and organizations around the country offer hands-on training to help riders gain experience and learn safe riding practices.

Guidelines to help riders recognize hazards and make riding both fun and safe:

  • All ATV drivers, adults and children, should take a hands-on ATV safety course from a certified instructor.
  • Always wear protective gear - especially a helmet - when riding ATVs.
  • Do not ride on a single-rider ATV as a passenger or carry a passenger if you drive one.
  • Never allow more people on any ATV than the vehicle was designed to carry.
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.  ATVs have solid rear axles, which make turning on paved surfaces difficult and dangerous and increase the risk of the ATV overturning or hitting another object, such as a tree or car.
  • Do not permit children younger than 16 years old to drive or ride adult ATVs.Children younger than 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs, and more than 90 percent of all injuries to children involve this scenario. Likewise, children younger than 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission